Today’s blog is a short blurb about indie and self-published authors.  There is a lot of discussion and consternation within the writing community that these authors are hurting authors’ credibility.  The honest truth – some of them are.

The most common drawbacks are horrific editing and just plain bad writing.   I’ve received the excuse that the author can’t afford a professional editor more times than I care to recall.  My attitude is, if you spent the time to write the darn thing, then invest in an editor.  Eat KD if you have to.  Yes, yes, I know, the Big 6 publishers have errors in their books too.  Just not every paragraph.

In my view, series such as The Twilight Saga and 50 Shades of Grey have definitely not inspired authors to put out their best work.  Vampires and sex sell.  Apparently, decent writing does not have to accompany ghouls and erotica.  Many wanna-be writers jumped on these bandwagons and rushed to self-publish their “piece of work” as fast as possible in hopes of being the next writer to strike it rich.  Pipe dreams.  It’s a tough world out there.

However, there are gems amongst the rocks.  The trick is knowing how to separate the wheat from the chaff.  Virtually every ebook sold on Amazon, Barnes & Nobles and Smashwords, just to name a few of the big self-publishing venues, enables you to read a sample.

I learned the hard way to always read the sample before I agree to review an indie or self-published author.  Unless reviews posted on these sites give the reviewer’s full name, I would advise you disregard them.  There are authors who will beg anyone and everyone – their mother, father, siblings, four times removed cousins – to give them a 5 star review.  My jaw has dropped at some of the novels receiving 5 star reviews completely undeserving of even 1 star.

If a review is posted by a legitimate reviewer who uses their own name, the odds are it’s a genuine review.  I, for one, am not willing to risk my reputation as a reviewer by dropping 5 star reviews indiscriminately.  When I post a review, I write it under Darlene Williams.   A simple Google search is enough to discover I blog reviews.  The same holds true for other reputable bloggers.

Another little trick which seems to be making the rounds is asking other authors to write a review so those authors can insert a little plug for their own novel in the review.  A “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine” scenario.  Originally permitted by Amazon, I believe this might now be forbidden.  If you should chance upon one of these types of reviews, it is likely best to dismiss it.

Now, back to the gems.  They do exist.  The reading community benefits by obtaining good reads for a nominal purchase amount.  I note on my home page that I support indie and new authors.  And, I do.  I might very well be one of them within the next year (right after I’ve hired a professional editor).

To prove quality writing by indie and self-published authors is available, my next review will focus on one of the gems I found.  I’m about half-way through another 2 self-published authors who have released solid work.

Well, I’ve come to the end of my not-so-short rant…er….I mean post.  Stay tuned for Prue Batten’s “Gisborne:  Book of Pawns“.